This weeks Learning Project post will be all about strumming! This week, I am going to be branching out a bit as well and taking a look at more than just one resource. Guitareo will still be one of my go to’s, especially now that I have discovered their blog! So, not only can I be watching the video and following along to visual/audio instructions, there is also written instructions, tips, and diagrams/pictures! To start off, I found a resource that really explains the mechanics of strumming and explains what you should and shouldn’t do. And then, I moved right into practicing five basic strumming patterns.
First Things First
These are the markers that are universally used to identify downstrokes, upstrokes, and mutes. I have seen them in almost every single resource that I have been looking through. They are pretty self-explanatory, downstrokes go from the top string and down, upstrokes the opposite, and mutes are when you move your arm the same way as you would for a downstroke or upstroke, but keeping your pick off the strings. There are also rests but those have no signifier. The distinction between mutes and rests though is quite important. With a mute, you would still move your arm so that you are in the position to stroke the opposite way on the next beat, for rests, you do not mow your arm and the next stroke will be the same as if you never rested (almost like a delay instead).
Screenshots in the video are from this post: “5 Essential Strumming Patterns: Essential Strumming Patterns for Electric or Acoustic Guitar”
After looking at resources online and in my book, I am noticing that many of the strumming practice happens after learning a couple of chords. While it wasn’t necessarily bad for me to learn to strum first, it would have been easier to follow along to some songs in order to really get a feel for the patterns if I knew some chords.
In my search for follow-along strumming patterns, I stumbled across this site that has a number of resources for beginning guitar players. One of their resources that I am very much looking forward to using in the near future is their collection of 2 and 3 chord songs to play along too. This will make it a bit more exciting to practice! Rather than just switching between chords (Which I am sure will get tedious) I can practice to some tunes!